The 12 Best Montessori Activities for 15 to 21 Months

Montessori activities with your 15 to 21 month old can be fun and filled with new challenges. Your child gains more independence every month while their communication skills really start to expand. 

Because your child's independence and communication is growing they can continue learning from more challenging activities, and tasks. 

What Are Montessori Activities? 

Montessori activities are best when beautiful to the eye, free of excessive branding or distractions such as sounds or lights, and easily accessible to your child throughout the day. 

Maria Montessori herself designed some Montessori toys to help toddlers work on specific actions, and others were borrowed from other educational philosophies like Waldorf or RIE.

As a parent you can even create your own toys or activities as long as it is guided by your child’s interests.

 1. Cleaning


Children can help and may enjoy washing and cleaning. Give your child a sponge and some soapy water, and maybe even another bucket of fresh water for rinsing. Your child may also enjoy washing vegetables in a colander or in the sink for meal time. Or perhaps wash toys like model animals in the bath, sink or in a bucket of soapy water.

2. Loading & Unload Clothes

You can get some assistance from your toddler on laundry day by including them in this chore. Put the dirty clothes hamper by the washing machine, and show your child how to put the clothes in it. Most little ones get a kick out of it while you get some help. 

3. Water Play

Water Play

Water play is really fun for toddlers as well as developmentally beneficial. Simply fill a low water table, clear storage bin, or large bowl with water. Then, add a few tools, like measuring cups, sponges, or whisks, for your child to explore. Toys and other household objects can be a fun addition to water play. Its great for washing a baby doll, scooping ping pong balls, or rinsing real fruits and veggies. 

4. Color Sorting

Color Sorting

Use colored cards, colored bowls or colored cloth to have your child find objects around your home that match that color. You can also present this in a basket or tray for your child to use or you can go on a color scavenger hunt and find the items to color match with your child. 

5. Finger Painting

 Finger Painting

This classic Montessori activity engages your toddler's senses and can help you start introducing art activities at home. You can invest in some non-toxic finger paints for your child, or try experimenting with a few different DIY edible finger paint recipes at home.

6. Hand Washing

hand washing

Teach your child old how to use the sink, soap and faucet. Show them how to wet their hands but not waste too much water while lathering. Make sure the handles are easy to turn for your child. They should also understand how to rinse soap off and dry their hands when done washing.

7. Matching Lids to Containers

Matching Lids to Containers

This is simple activity that is easy to set up using items around the house. All you need is a couple of empty plastic bottles or containers and lids. It’s tough for little hands to put a lid on so practice makes perfect.

This activity can be done with a variation of lids of different sizes when they get a bit older. This activity is great for the development of fine motor skills, grasping and shape and size recognition.

8. Montessori Shelf With Materials

Montessori Shelf With Materials

A Montessori shelf is basically a simple, low shelf that’s easy for your child to access. A limited number of engaging, age-appropriate materials are stored and organized on the shelf for your child to easily see and use the toys and activities without having to dig through an overflowing toybox.

9. Color Stacking

Color Stacking

This activity is easy and it works great for toddlers who are just developing their stacking and fine motor skills. These types of toys usually involves matching colors and stacking them in order. This helps with matching colors and counting.

9. Scooping


Scooping is another simple fine motor activity with options to use many different items. Scooping rice or pasta, ping pong balls or other age appropriate items from a bowl, with or without water, will keep your toddler busy. They can even just scoop and pour plain old water. In addition to building hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, scooping activities also helps toddlers develop focus and concentration. 

10. Matching Pairs

Offering pairs for your child to match is a fun way to build vocabulary, concentration as well as visual and cognitive development. Items like matching animals pictures to figurines,  socks from the wash or matching shoes in the closet. You can also print up your own cards to match items around the house.

11. Peg Number Boards

Peg Number Boards

There are many toys made with different types of pegs like this. Some are made with wood materials and your toddler can just insert the pegs in holes which may include colors or numbers. This allows your toddler to practice one-to-one correspondence while identifying the corresponding number symbol or color.

12. Number and Object Matching

Number and Object Matching

Once your toddler is getting better at counting they can move up to playing a number/object matching game with printable cards and /or objects.

This is a bit more complicated because each number corresponds to a different kind of object. Its always best to start out slow with three or four cards and an object, and then add on if and when your toddler is up for the challenge.

Final Thoughts

It may be easier than you think to create an environment for your toddler to learn and enjoy different ways of expressing his or her ideas, even before being able to speak in coherent sentences. The following ideas are easy and cheap to incorporate into any environment and the tips include practical ways to reduce mess.

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